Timeline of United States and Latter-day Saint/Utah Territory History






APR 6: Joseph Smith organizes the Church of Christ (Fayette, New York)


AUG 21: Nat Turner starts slave rebellion in Virginia



NOV: South Carolina threatens to secede


DEC 25: Joseph Smith receives a revelation and prophecy on war (Doctrine & Covenants 87)


FEB: U.S. Congress compromises with South Carolina



MAR 4: Martin Van Buren inaugurated



NOV 28: Joseph Smith and others imprisoned in Liberty Jail



NOV 29: Pres. Van Buren tells Joseph Smith nothing can be done to help persecuted Saints



FEB 4: Nauvoo Legion organized



JAN 29: Joseph Smith nominated as a presidential candidate

JUN 27: Joseph and Hyrum Smith killed by mob at Carthage Jail


MAY 13: Mexican-American War begins


JUL 13: First volunteer companies of Mormon Battalion enlisted



JUL 22: Pioneer advance party enters the Salt Lake Valley

JUL 24: Brigham Young and main body of pioneers enter the Salt Lake Valley



MAR 5: Provisional state of Deseret proposed


SEP: Compromise of 1850 passes after heated debate over slavery in formerly Mexican territory; Utah Territory created


SEP 9: Utah Territory established



FEB 3: Brigham Young becomes governor of Utah Territory (and superintendent of Indian affairs)



AUG 28–29: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints publicly announces its doctrine of plural marriage


MAY 30: Kansas-Nebraska Act becomes law



MAR 4: James Buchanan inaugurated

MAR 6: U.S. Supreme Court decides Dred Scott case

MAY 28: Pres. Buchanan sends army to put down reported rebellion in Utah, starting the Utah War

JUL 11: President Buchanan appoints Alfred Cumming governor of Utah


SEP 11: Mountain Meadows Massacre occurs

SEP 15: Utah militia sent to prevent federal soldiers from entering Salt Lake Valley


APR 21–OCT 15: Lincoln-Douglas debates


FEB 24: Thomas L. Kane arrives in Salt Lake City to help negotiate an end to the Utah War

JUN 26: U.S. Army marches through Salt Lake City, essentially ending the Utah War


OCT 16–18: Abolitionist John Brown captures Harper’s Ferry Armory in Virginia, but his rebellion is suppressed by U.S. Marines under Col. Robert E. Lee



APR 3: Pony Express begins

NOV 6: Abraham Lincoln elected

DEC 20: South Carolina secedes in response to Lincoln’s election



JAN 9: Mississippi secedes; Star of the West fired upon in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina

JAN 10: Florida secedes

JAN 11: Alabama secedes

JAN 19: George secedes

JAN 21: Five Southern U.S. senators leave the Senate

JAN 26: Louisiana secedes

JAN 29: Kansas gains statehood and prohibits slavery

JAN–FEB: Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas secede

FEB 4–8: Confederate States of America organized in Montgomery, Alabama, with Jefferson Davis as provisional president

FEB 18: Davis inaugurated as president of Confederacy at Montgomery, Alabama; “Dixie” becomes the unofficial Confederate States anthem (when it is played at Jefferson Davis’s inauguration)

FEB 23: Texas voters approve secession

MAR 2: Nevada Territory formed out of western portion of Utah Territory

MAR 4: Abraham Lincoln inaugurated

APR 12: South Carolina artillery units fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina

APR 13: Fort Sumter surrenders

APR 15: President Lincoln calls for militia

APR 17: Virginia secedes

MAY 6: Arkansas secedes

MAY 20: North Carolina secedes

MAY 24: Union troops capture Alexandria, Virginia; Col. Ellsworth is killed in the process and inspires volunteers for the Union army

MAY 20: Baltimore occupied by Union soldiers

MAY 24: Union soldiers occupy Alexandria, Virginia

JUN 1: Skirmish at Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia

JUN 3: Battle of Philippi (in western Virginia)

JUN 8: Tennessee secedes

JUL 21: Confederate victory at First Battle of Manassas (Virginia)

NOV 28: Missouri admitted to the Confederacy (even though it did not formally secede)


FEB: Joseph Morris, prophet and leader of the Morrisites, is excommunicated

FEB 6: Camp Floyd renamed Fort Crittenden after Secretary of War John B. Floyd aligns with the Confederacy

APR 6: Joseph Morris organizes a new church in South Weber (Utah Territory)

MAY 17: Gov. Cumming leaves Salt Lake City

JUL: U.S. Army stationed at Fort Crittenden recalled east for Civil War service

OCT 3: John W. Dawson appointed governor of Utah

OCT 18: Telegraph reaches Salt Lake City from the east

OCT 24: Overland Telegraph Line reaches Salt Lake City from California, making the Pony Express obsolete

DEC 4: Pioneers called to found St. George

DEC 7: Gov. Dawson arrives in Salt Lake City

DEC 31: Gov. Dawson flees Salt Lake City, Secretary Frank Fuller becomes acting governor


FEB 6: Union captures Fort Henry, Tennessee

FEB 16: Union captures Fort Donelson, Tennessee

MAR 8–9: Battle of Hampton Roads, first battle between ironclads (USS Monitor and CSS Virginia) fought inconclusively (Virginia)

APR 6: Battle of Shiloh (Tennessee); Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston killed

APR 7: After heavy casualties, Union victory at Battle of Shiloh

APR 8: Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act introduced in House of Representatives

APR 25: Union captures New Orleans, Louisiana

MAY 8: Confederate victory at Battle of McDowell (Virginia)

JUN 3: Morrill Act passed in the Senate; the House accepts its revisions

JUN 9: Constitution of State of Deseret introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, the following day, in the U.S. Senate

JUN 25–JUL 1: Confederacy repels Union troops from Richmond, Virginia, following Seven Days Battles

AUG 17–23: Sioux uprising in Minnesota

AUG 28–30: Confederate victory at Second Battle of Manassas (Virginia)

SEP 17: Battle of Antietam (Maryland) ends following the bloodiest day in U.S. history, with nearly 23,000 casualties

SEP 22: Pres. Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation

OCT 8: Battle of Perryville (Kentucky) fought inconclusively

DEC 13: Confederate victory at Battle of Fredericksburg (Virginia)


JAN 20: Convention to establish state government assembles in Salt Lake City

JAN 23: Utah requests statehood for the third time

MAR 6: Salt Lake Theatre dedicated

APR 26: Nauvoo Legion militia troops, under the command of Colonel Robert T. Burton, departed Salt Lake City to protect the mail routes

APR 28: Brigham Young receives request for a company of U.S. cavalry to protect the Overland Trail

APR 30: Lot Smith and Utah Cavalry volunteers enlisted to protect the Overland Trail

MAY: Col. Patrick Edward Connor ordered to Utah

MAY 1: Lot Smith Utah Cavalry leave Salt Lake Valley

MAY 24: Utah Territory Chief Justice Kinney issues a writ of habeas corpus commanding Morrisites to release any prisoners

JUN 12: Robert T. Burton, deputy marshal, leads a posse of several hundred men to capture Joseph Morris and execute Justice Kinney’s May 24 writ.

JUN 13: Two Morrisites and one posse member killed

JUN 15: Joseph Morris and other Morrisites killed in a skirmish; ninety Morrisites arrested

JUN 16: Morrisites brought to Salt Lake City to stand trial before Judge Kinney

JUL 7: Stephen G. Harding, Utah’s new governor, arrives in Salt Lake City

JUL 8: Pres. Lincoln signs Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act

JUL 12: Colonel Patrick Edward Connor and California Volunteers leave Stockton, California bound for Utah

JUL 25: Donald McNichols, a member of Capt. Smith’s expedition, drowns in Lewis Fork

AUG 6: Colonel Connor takes command of the Military District of Utah

AUG 14: Lot Smith Utah Cavalry released from active duty

OCT 17: Col. Connor’s troops arrive at Fort Crittenden

OCT 20: Col. Connor’s troops arrive in Salt Lake City and establish Camp Douglas nearby

DEC 10: Gov. Harding delivers insulting message to territorial legislature


JAN 1: The Emancipation Proclamation takes effect

APR 7: Confederate victory at Charleston, South Carolina

MAY 4: Confederate victory at Battle of Chancellorsville (Virginia)

MAY 10: Confederate Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson dies of pneumonia

MAY 18: Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi begins

JUN: Confederate victory at Battle of Brandy Station (Virginia)

JUN 20: West Virginia separates from Virginia and joins the Union as the thirty-fifth state

JUL 1–3: Battle of Gettysburg (Pennsylvania)

JUL 4: Union captures Vicksburg, Mississippi, securing control of the Mississippi River

JUL 13–15: Draft riots in New York City

AUG 17: Fort Sumter bombarded by Union artillery

SEP 19–20: Confederate victory at Battle of Chickamauga (Georgia)

NOV 19: Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address

NOV 23–25: Union captures Chattanooga, Tennessee

DEC 3: Pres. Lincoln issues his Ten-Percent Plan, beginning Reconstruction


JAN 24: U.S. cavalry units leave Camp Douglas on their way to Bear River

JAN 29: Bear River Massacre

MAR: Tensions rise between federal troops s and Utahns; seven Morrisites convicted of second-degree murder, sixty-two convicted of resistance; all guilty parties were pardoned by Stephen S. Hardy, the new territorial governor

MAR 3: Utahns petition removal of Gov. Harding

MAR 3: Idaho Territory created, including part of Utah territory that would later become part of Wyoming

MAR 4: Utah delegates ask Gov. Harding to resign; he refuses

MAR 10: Brigham Young arrested for bigamy but not brought to trial

MAR 22: Indians attack mail coach near Eight Mile Creek Station, killing one passenger

MAR 31: Gov. Harding pardons Morrisites

APR 5: Troops defeat another large Native American band near Spanish Fork

APR 12: Another small fight occurs between federal troops and Indians

APR 15: Federal troops attack Native American band, killing several people

APR 27: Some Camp Douglas soldiers attempt to kidnap a young woman in Salt Lake City

MAY 8: Native American band raids Box Elder Valley

MAY 19: Native American band attacks stagecoach in Deep Creek Canyon, killing one person

JUN 10: Native American band attacks stagecoach in Utah County, killing two people

JUN 11: Gov. Harding leaves Salt Lake City

JUN 22: James D. Doty becomes governor of Utah

JUL 2: Peace treaty signed with Eastern Shoshone Indians

JUL 3: Indian band attacks Canyon Station, killing five people

JUL 30: Peace treaty signed at Box Elder with Northwestern Shoshone Indians

AUG: Troops under Capt. Smith kill twelve Indians near Schell Creek Station

OCT 1: Peace treaty signed at Fort Ruby with Western Shoshone Indians

OCT 12: Peace treaty signed at Tooele Valley with Gosiute Indians

OCT 14: Peace treaty signed at Soda Springs with Fort Hall Shoshone and Bannock Indians

NOV 20: First issue of the Union Vedette, an Army newspaper, issued at Camp Douglas


MAY 5–6: Battle of the Wilderness (Virginia) fought inconclusively

MAY 7: General Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign begins (in Tennessee)

MAY 8–21: Battle of Spotsylvania Court House (Virginia) fought inconclusively

MAY 11: Union victory at Battle of Yellow Tavern (Virginia)

MAY 15: Battle of New Market (Virginia)

JUN 1–3: Confederate victory at Battle of Cold Harbor (Virginia)

JUN 18: Union siege of Petersburg, Virginia, begun

JUN 28: Fugitive slave laws repealed

JUL 30: Battle of the Crater (Petersburg, Virginia)

AUG 5: Union victory at Battle of Mobile Bay (Alabama)

SEP 2: Union captures Atlanta, Georgia

OCT 19: Union victory at Battle of Cedar Creek (Virginia)

OCT 31: Nevada gains statehood as the thirty-sixth state

NOV 8: Abraham Lincoln reelected

NOV 16: Union Gen. William T. Sherman begins “march to the sea” campaign

DEC 16: Union victory at Battle of Nashville (Tennessee)

DEC 21: Union captures Savannah, Georgia


JUL 4: First issue of the Daily Telegraph newspaper issued in Salt Lake


JAN 31: Thirteenth Amendment passed

FEB 17: Columbia, South Carolina destroyed by fire

MAR 3: Freedmen’s Bureau created

MAR 4: Abraham Lincoln inaugurated for second term

MAR 29: Union begins Appomattox campaign

APR 2: Union captures Petersburg, Virginia, prompting the Confederate evacuation of Richmond, Virginia

APR 3: Union forces capture Richmond, Virginia

APR 9: General Robert E. Lee surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox (Virginia)

APR 12: Mobile, Alabama, surrenders to Union forces

14 APR: John Wilkes Booth assassinates Pres. Lincoln, co-conspirator Lewis Powell attempts assassination of Secretary of State William H. Seward

APR 15: Abraham Lincoln dies; Andrew Johnson inaugurated president

APR 21: Mosby’s Rangers disbanded

APR 26: Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston surrenders at Durham Station, NC

APR 26: John Wilkes Booth killed by Union soldiers in Virginia; Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrender in North Carolina

MAY 4: Confederate Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor surrenders Confederate departments of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana at Citronelle, Alabama

MAY 5: Maj. Gen. Dabney Maury surrenders the Confederate District of the Gulf at Citronelle, Alabama

MAY 9: Lt. Gen.Nathan Bedford Forrest surrendered at Gainesville, Alabama

MAY 10: Confederate President Jefferson Davis captured; Maj. Gen. Samuel Jones surrenders Confederate departments of Florida and South Georgia

MAY 12: Brig. Gen. William T. Wofford surrenders the Confederate forces of North Georgia

MAY 12-13: Battle of Palmito Ranch, Texas (last battle of the Civil War)

MAY 26: Confederate Lt. Gen. Simon B. Bucker surrenders at New Orleans, Louisiana

JUN 22: CSS Shenandoah fires upon Union whaling ships (the last shots of the Civil War)

JUN 23: Confederate Brig. Gen. Stand Watie (a Cherokee Indian) surrenders at Doaksville, Indian Territory

JUL 7: Lincoln conspirators hanged in Washington, DC

NOV 6: CSS Shenandoah surrenders

DEC 18: Thirteenth Amendment adopted, abolishes slavery in all states


JAN 28: LDS Church purchases Laie, Hawaii, plantation

MAR 4: Celebration of Pres. Lincoln’s re-inauguration

APR: Utah’s Black Hawk War begins (and continued until October 1872)

APR 10: Indians attack men near Twelve Mile Creek

APR 10: LDS Church agrees to build telegraph line between Utah settlements, completed in 1867

APR 12: Troops pursue Native American band, killing several people

APR 15: Salt Lake City mourns Pres. Lincoln’s assassination

MAY 26: Native American band kills family of six

MAY 29: Native American band kill a man near Fairview

JUN 11: Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Schuyler Colfax visits Salt Lake City

JUN 13: Gov. Doty dies in Salt Lake City

JUL 14: Native American band kills two people near Salina

JUL 15: Charles Durkee appointed governor of Utah

JUL 18: Militia attacks Native American band, killing twelve people

JUL 26: Native American band attacks Glenwood, Sevier Co.

SEP 21: Militia engages Native American band near Fish Lake, killing seven people

SEP 22: Native American band attacks immigrating Mormons near Ft. Laramie

SEP 30: Gov. Durkee arrives in Salt Lake City


APR 6: Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) organized at Decatur, Illinois

AUG 20: U.S. President Andrew Johnson signs Proclamation 157 (Declaring that Peace, Order, Tranquillity, and Civil Authority Now Exists in and Throughout the Whole of the United States of America) proclaiming the official end of the Civil War

NOV 20: First GAR National Encampment held in Indianapolis, Indiana



NOV: Republicans win overwhelming control of Congress and begin a period of Radical Reconstruction



FEB 24: President Andrew Johnson impeached by U.S. House of Representatives

MAR–MAY: President Johnson tried by the U.S. Senate

MAY 26: President Johnson acquitted by one vote

JUL 9: Fourteenth Amendment adopted, defines citizenship (overturns the Dred Scott case)



MAR 4: Ulysses S. Grant inaugurated President; Schuyler Colfax Vice President


MAY 10: Transcontinental Railroad completed at Promontory Summit, Utah Territory


FEB 3: Fifteenth Amendment ratified, defines voting rights for all American citizens


FEB 12: Utah Territorial legislature passes women’s suffrage law

Robert T. Burton was tried and acquitted for the murder of Isabella Bowman, one of two Morrisite women killed in 1862 at South Weber


MAR 1–2: Democratic and Republican Congressmen unofficially agree to the Compromise of 1877, allowing Rutherford B. Hayes to win the presidency while removing federal troops from Southern states, ending Reconstruction


AUG 29: Brigham Young dies



SEP 18: First GAR post organized in Utah



MAY 5: U.S. Supreme Court announces decision in Reynolds vs. U.S. polygamy case



MAR 3: Edmunds-Tucker Act becomes law, disincorporating the LDS Church and excluding polygamists from politics



OCT 6: LDS Church accepts “The Manifesto”



JAN 4: Utah becomes the 45th state



AUG 9–14: GAR National Encampment held in Salt Lake City



JUL 7: Lot Smith Utah Cavalry Civil War veterans declared eligible to join the GAR.

OCT 9: John Quincy Knowlton GAR post organized in Salt Lake City for veterans of the Lot Smith Utah Cavalry


AUG 28–SEP 1: Last National Encampment of the GAR held in Indianapolis, Indiana



AUG 2: Albert Henry Woolson—last surviving Union Army veteran, GAR member, and undisputed Civil War veteran—died



The Church of Jesus of Saints of the Most High (an offshoot of the Morrisites) officially disbanded